Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Selfish Giant” as Want to Read:
The Selfish Giant
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Selfish Giant

by
4.14  ·  Rating details ·  5,480 Ratings  ·  324 Reviews
This magnificent new edition of Oscar Wilde's beloved tale tells the story of the selfish giant who built a wall around his beautiful garden to keep children out. It was always winter in the garden, for no other season would venture there. Then one morning, a special child brought Spring back, and the giant's heart melted along with the snow.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 21st 1995 by Putnam Juvenile (first published 1888)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Selfish Giant, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Sresttha Ghosh The little boy is jesus christ as the boy has two prints of nail on his palm as well as his feet. Jesus Christ was hanged on a cross and pinned with…moreThe little boy is jesus christ as the boy has two prints of nail on his palm as well as his feet. Jesus Christ was hanged on a cross and pinned with nails. So the boy can be compared to jesus christ(less)
Suganya giant did allow the children to play in the garden

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Duane
I have read enough of Oscar Wilde to have come to believe he was not a religious man, but this short story, this fable, makes me think otherwise. It has a powerful message and at the end there is a distinct reference to Jesus Christ and Heaven.
Archit Ojha
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks
Don't you tell me that you have not read this one!



The sign that got trapped in the labyrinth of my 3rd grade mind reading his English Gulmohar was this :



Got burnt into my memory. And that is how I dug this books out of my pensive to add it here on Goodreads - by searching for this sign.

Oscar Wilde knows how to tickle the juvenile readers.

Walls are made to keep dangers out. But if those bricks and mortars start eroding the warmth inside, they should be done away with. The giant constructs a wall,
...more
Jeremiah Jones
Oct 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: every child of God
It's good that this title appears at the top of my list--"The Selfish Giant" has long been one of my favorite stories. I remember listening to my mother read it as we sat on our front porch on a lazy California afternoon. Just as she did, I also cry when I read this touching story to my children.

There are few books outside the canon of scripture that I would count as spiritually powerful and fully illustrative of the love of God as this short story. Take the time today to read it to your childre
...more
Laysee
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Selfish Giant is a beautiful story Oscar Wilde wrote for children but the child in any grown person is apt to embrace it even more dearly.

The selfish giant would not let the children play in his beautiful garden. “My garden is my own garden,” he roared and the children fled. As a consequence, a big change fell upon his garden and it was no longer beautiful. Then an encounter with one special child hidden in a far corner of the garden - diminutive, dependent, defeated - afforded the giant an
...more
Lisa Vegan
I own many books by Oscar Wilde, including a book of stories that contains a version of this story, but I haven’t read that book since my childhood years.

So, because of the Jesus allusions, it ended up being not my cup of tea at all. I assume that as I child I didn’t get the Christian/Jesus connection and I probably was able to enjoy it more because of that.

But, up until the end I appreciated and enjoyed the story and the illustrations that are in this edition.

It’s a lovely fairy tale and if the
...more
Enchantress  debbicat ☮
May 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-reads, audible
Wonderful!! I have recently discovered these fairytales by Oscar Wilde. This is the second one I have listened to via the audible app using their new feature, channels. I am delighted! Surprise ending that I in no way would have predicted. I'd love to see the illustrations in the book now. When I next get out to the book store I will look for it. Highly recommended.
Katy
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a visually beautiful book. The illustrations are detailed and will keep the attention of a child for a while as they look for all that is there. I knew nothing of the story and was pleasantly surprised to find a lovely Christian folk-like tale.
Conor
Sep 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Selfish Giant was one of my favourite books as a child, and upon reading it again there were a lot of themes and symbols that as a child i was oblivious to. The story is about a Selfish Giant who owns a home with a beautiful garden. Upon returning to his home he discovers the local children playing in his garden, the sun shining and birds chirping. The Giant was enraged that the children had been playing in his garden, so he chased them all away and built a huge wall with a sign saying 'tres ...more
Ashley
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Can't believe I have not read the original version of the short story before! I've just finished reading it and have thought it so beautiful I am now in tears!
Beccy
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Utterly beautiful.

On the surface a traditional fairy tale, though Wilde wrote it as a religious parable, however as a five ar six year old it wasn't a subtext I was aware of.

The plot centres around a giant who puts a wall around his beautiful garden to stop children playing in it, and in doing so, stops Spring from entering as well as them. One day the children find a cranny though which to kreep back into the garden and duly Spring returns and the garden becomes a paradise once more. As the gi
...more
tyranus
Nov 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Oscar Wilde masallarında anlatmak istediklerini doğrudan anlatmıyor. Dolambaçlı yollardan, kinayelerle, sarsıcı bir şekilde anlatıyor. Ortaokul ve lisede ingilizce derslerinde okuduğum bu masalları yeğenlerim için almıştım. Odada bir köşede duruyorlardı, elime bir aldım bir daha da bırakamadım; öyle güzel masallar. İyi okumalar...
Taylor Knight
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That was a beautiful story.
Andreea
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a story suitable for children, but is embedded with sensitive elements which should be checked out by parents before reading it to their kids. Nevertheless life is about all these elements: hurt from love (view spoiler), death along with beautiful lessons of love, selflessness, kindness. A selfish giant has a change of heart. Enjoy!
Katharine
Oct 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
My first time reading this beautiful story. I thought it was moving, but the stigmata message was inappropriate for my family and young children. I'm glad I read it first. I read the version illustrated by lisbeth zwerger.
Tanya W
Feb 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great book, great message, interesting tie-in to Christ which I wasn't expecting and wouldn't have figured out without the obvious symbolism.
Mark Delaney
Oct 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Selfish Giant is a beautifully illustrated book which deals with themes of love and redemption. The story begins with the selfish giant returning from holidays to discover children playing in his garden. This makes him furious and he immediately banishes them. As winter passes and spring is near, the garden still remains dormant, there is frost and snow on the trees and grass, there is a loud strong North wind and hail bashes heavily off the roof. Summer and Autumn pass, but the garden still ...more
Bradley
Sep 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya
Being reminded of this short story is a recollection of my childhood, or at least of the day when I was a 14 year old plowing through an Oscar Wilde complete anthology book. I remember thinking that it was so much better than the pithy and pathetic morals found in the Smurfs and for some really odd reason, I wanted a really great moral story with lots of protein when I at this one. I smacked my lips and felt full afterwards.
Of course, like many compulsive word-overeaters, I ignored my appetite a
...more
Carla
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clásicos
Esta edición posee cuatro relatos de Oscar Wilde:

- El gigante egoísta
- El pescador y su alma
- El cumpleaños de la infanta
- El ruiseñor y la rosa

El gigante egoísta siempre ha sido mi preferido desde la primera vez que lo leí —13 años—. Es bello y al mismo tiempo un poco triste, pero creo que ante la tristeza lo supera El Ruiseñor y la rosa —tanta rosa en vano—, como también un poco El cumpleaños de la infanta.
En cambio El pescador y su alma nos da entender lo valioso que puede ser el alma de las
...more
El
Jul 17, 2012 rated it liked it
(Read as part of the Complete Works of Oscar Wilde.)

I've probably read this one before, but since it didn't really seem all that familiar I read it again. It was okay. I was on board through most of the story until the end which seemed a bit... preachy for my taste, but I get the point of the story and that's what matters.

Although, I prefer the way the giant was in the beginning. I don't want kids playing on my lawn either.
momma.hailey
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio
After my 3 year old continued to check this out at the library for a YEAR, I was happy to buy it for our home library. Our favorite book is by Dan Goeller with the audio cd. The orchestra and arrangements are truly captivating and inspiring.
Rachel Fellows
Sep 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
I read this to Georgia for the first time today--her first Oscar Wilde! I thought the stigmata message at the end was a little too weirdly religious for my taste, but it's Oscar Wilde, so I was able to overlook it.
Cynthia Egbert
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-and-read
I love Oscar Wilde and I love these stories, some of them contain powerful spiritual messages. That being said, these are dark and heavy, the way I often like my fairy tales, like the original Grimm stuff, not the Disney versions. These are moral tales and should be approached as such. I do think that these stories and others like them should be read to more children, but many would disagree with me. There are very Christian references, even an appearance by Jesus himself in The Selfish Giant, a ...more
James Benham
Oct 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This book uses some nice language and utilises various literary tools such as repetition, alliteration etc. and could be used as a good example for these. The story is simplistic but engaging and the illustrations not bad. What really surprised me about this book was the ending and the realisation it is a story of Jesus and Christianity. It is unusual in that there is no mention of this, but instead, teaches some of the core values of Christianity. It is great in that it offers this in a way tha ...more
Gary
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I didn’t expect this! A nice little story.
Grady
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Triptych of Artists Honor Oscar Wilde,

Oscar Wilde wrote a large number of stories for children, a fact we often forget when the controversial author and playwright's is considered. But Wilde wrote charming and imaginative stories for his children and among those his most respected is THE SELFISH GIANT. It is a story that helps children deal with fear, with the unknown, and with understanding 'strangers' - as well as being a wonderful fairy tale. Composer Dan Goeller has enhanced this story by
...more
Riah
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rural Soul
I had read it in my childhood. It was in course of Matriculation so my eldest sibling had it in Urdu translation for students to understand.
It just hit into heart of 11 years old.
Jennifer
Apr 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
I read the Selfish Giant to a year one class on my first placement as part of a PSHE lesson. The book itself is beautifully illustrated and the themes of the book; selfishness and greed changing into selflessness, friendship, care and death, are approached in a gentle way, making it suitable for younger children.

The giant lives alone in a castle and when he leaves to visit friends, children from the village come to play in his garden which is large and full of beautiful trees. When the giant re
...more
Althea Ann
Oscar Wilde! Oscar Wilde is awesome, right? Not to mention decadent, unconventional...?
Well, you wouldn't guess it from this tale.

This is a saccharine, moralizing story with a bit of a priggish attitude. The Christian allegory could not be more blatant if this were a retelling of a Bible verse.

A selfish giant doesn't allow any of the children to play in his garden. Because of his attitude, the garden becomes a bleak place where spring never blooms. But he eventually learns to mend his ways, an
...more
Claudia
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oscar Wilde hit this one in the head! It's a gorgeous fairytale with all the elements we love. The end is a bit of twist, but throughout the story there's an element of wonder that allows the reader to keep enmeshed in the story until the very end. Needless to say I'm excited to have found this little beauty. It's a very short story you will do well to read! 5 stars and deservedly so!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Voyages of Sindbad
  • The Girl Who Spun Gold
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • How Fletcher Was Hatched
  • The Serpent Came to Gloucester
  • Molly Bannaky
  • Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch
  • The Light Princess and Other Fairy Stories
  • Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Fungus the Bogeyman
  • The Cat and the Devil
  • How Do I Love You Bb
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • East o' the Sun and West o' the Moon
  • The Goblin and the Empty Chair
  • The Last Leaf
  • Maggie and the Pirate
23,165 followers
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, and a plentitude of aphorisms, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being E ...more
More about Oscar Wilde

Fiction Deals

  • Echoes of Family
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Checking Out
    $4.99 $1.99
  • This Is the Story of You
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Outlaw
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Transit
    $9.99 $3.99
  • Class Mom
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Drawing Lessons
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Revolution 2020
    $3.99 $0.99
  • A General Theory of Oblivion
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Bloom Girls
    $3.99 $1.99
  • So B. It
    $6.74 $1.99
  • Island Beneath the Sea
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Petersburg
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Life is What You Make It: A Story of Love, Hope and How Determination Can Overcome Even Destiny
    $1.99 $0.99
  • As Good as True
    $4.99 $1.99
  • First Comes Love
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Last Telegram
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Spinning Heart: A Novel
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Ocean Liner
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Every Day Is Mother's Day
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Breakdown: A Love Story
    $3.99 $0.99
  • A Blaze of Glory (Civil War: 1861-1865, Western Theater, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The House Girl
    $8.24 $1.99
  • The Shepherdess of Siena
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Man Who Could Be King
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Wildflowers (Glenbrooke, #8)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • A Mother's Secret (Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Great Man
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Chasing Rainbows: A Novel
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Vagrants
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Perfect Son
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Winnowing Season (Amish Vines and Orchards, #2)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Feathered Bone
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Reunion Of Ghosts
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Crooked Little Lies
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Our Own Country (The Midwife, #2)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • Say Her Name
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Pants Project
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Arcadia
    $9.99 $2.99
  • London
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Swans of Fifth Avenue
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Shōgun (Asian Saga, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
“And the child smiled on the Giant, and said to him, 'You let me play once in your garden, to-day you shall come with me to my garden, which is Paradise.” 15 likes
More quotes…